Dwarf Puffers keep dying? HELP!

Oh no! Sick fish?! Come here and see if someone can help!
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Read this before posting!!

Since this board has been up, we have found there are several questions that routinely get asked in order to help diagnose problems. If you can have that information to begin with in your post, we'll be able to help right away (if we can!) without having to wait for you to post the info we need.

1) Your water parameters - pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates and salinity (if appropriate). This is by far the most important information you can provide! Do not answer this with "Fine" "Perfect" "ok", that tells us nothing. We need hard numbers.

2) Tank size and a list of ALL inhabitants. Include algae eaters, plecos, everything. We need to know what you have and how big the tank is.

3) Feeding, water change schedule and a list of all products you are using or have added to the tank (examples: Cycle, Amquel, salt, etc)

4) What changes you've made in the tank in the last week or so. Sometimes its the little things that make all the difference.

5) How long the aquarium has been set up, and how did you cycle it? If you don't know what cycling is read this: Fishless Cycling Article and familiarize yourself with all the information. Yes. All of it.

We want to help, and providing this information will go a LONG way to getting a diagnosis and hopeful cure that much faster.

While you wait for assistance:
One of the easiest and best ways to help your fish feel better is clean water! If you are already on a regular water change schedule (50% weekly is recommended) a good step to making your fish more comfortable while waiting for diagnosis/suggestions is to do a large water change immediately. Feel free to repeat daily or as often as you can, clean water is always a good thing! Use of Amquel or Prime as a dechlor may help with any ammonia or nitrite issues, and is highly recommended.

Note - if you do not normally do large water changes, doing a sudden, large water change could shock your fish by suddenly changing their established water chemistry. Clean water is still your first goal, so in this case, do several smaller (10%) water changes over the next day or two before starting any large ones.
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Puffer Fry
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Dwarf Puffers keep dying? HELP!

Post by leotheoandben »

Hi, I recently purchased 3 dwarf puffers (Leo, Theo, and Ben, unknown genders - My guess was Leo and Theo are boys and Ben is girl) from my LFS who were in good health and were happy, active, and got along well in my 10 gallon tank. Ben and Theo constantly followed each other around in a non-harmful way, just swimming next to each other. Leo is very independent and active. About 2 days after I got them, I noticed Leo starting to turn grey. I quickly did some extra research and discovered that this is normal for DP's, this could mean a mood change or because of their sensitivity to light. Leo's personality remained the same so I brushed it off and he is still doing good today.

On the fourth day, I woke up early and saw them all resting on the bottom of the tank, as DP's do. However when I came home that afternoon, I found Theo upside down on the sand, dead. He was eating and moving a lot the day before, his color was good and he seemed very active. The next morning, I checked my tank and Ben was not moving around as much as usual. I assumed this was because him and Theo always swam together, maybe he was shaken up. I then took dead Theo to the store and they couldn't figure out why he might of died either. They tested my water and told me my ph was a little bit higher than they kept them at the store. (I read DP's live in 7.2-8.2 ph, my ph was at a 7.6, but their ph was kept at a 7.0). So I bought the powder for my tank to lower its ph, and I bought a new DP, since I prefer to have them in groups of 3.

The new DP I bought, I named George. He was older because he was distinctly male with his black stripe going across his belly. Before I put him in the tank,I noticed Ben was still lethargic. Ben had eaten the night before but ignored a snail I'd given him that morning. I slowly introduced George to his new tank, and immediately Leo began to chase and nip at George (even though George is twice Leo's size!). That's how I came to my conclusion that Leo was also a male, since males are very territorial, and that Ben was female, because his (her) body was more rounded, and did he/she did not mind the other two fish at all. I left for the night after introducing them and came back late tonight to find Ben dead, in the bottom of the tank. What?! I don't understand why they keep dying! Please help!

Q: Does the current of my filter effect this at all?

1) Water parameters -
pH - 7.6, Ammonia- 0, Nitrite- 0

2) Tank size and a list of ALL inhabitants -
10 GALLON with 3 DP (now 2 :( ) and 5 to 7 ramshorn snails

3) Feeding, water change schedule and a list of all products you are using or have added to the tank -
- food: 3-4 live blackworms per DP once a day, along with accessible ramshorn snails always in tank
- products: stress coat (when water change), Water conditioner (when water change), Discus buffer (1tsp daily till ph gets to be 7.0)
- water change schedule: I have not changed water yet because has been less than a week since tan was set up, but I had planned to alternate between partial water changes and full water changes weekly. (I will change the water tomorrow)

4) What changes you've made in the tank in the last week or so.
On the 3rd day of having the tank, I added a rinsed aquarium castle from my boyfriend's tank to the middle of my tank to give the fish more places to hide. Other than that, everything else has been constant.

5) How long the aquarium has been set up, and how did you cycle it?
This aquarium has been set up for 6 days now (as of 12/22/18), I cycled the tank by letting it sit for two hours till the bubbles were settled, with the fish (still in the bags from the store) floating on top.

Why are my DP dying? PLEASE HELP!
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Re: Dwarf Puffers keep dying? HELP!

Post by Pufferpunk »

Sorry to say but your tank is not cycled. Letting the water sit won't do it.
Here are a couple of ways to cycle a tank:

Obviously, you can't do the 1st but I highly suggest tryone the 2nd methods. You could buy Tetra Safestart to add to your filter, after a 50% water change. What are you using to test the water?

The line on the belly isn't an exact way to sex DPs:
library/puffers-in-focus/sexing-carinot ... rf-puffer/

You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
Puffer Fry
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:55 am
Location (country): Maryland, USA

Re: Dwarf Puffers keep dying? HELP!

Post by leotheoandben »

Thanks so much! I properly cycled my tank and my fish are doing fine so far.
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